Winds have gusted at close to 100 miles per hour in exposed parts of Scotland, bringing a predictably dismal story of commuter chaos and disrupted power supplies. My own evening journey was several hours longer than usual and only made possible at all by the generosity of friends providing a relay of lifts. We arrived home tired and hungry but it was a temporary inconvenience which by tomorrow will be told of as an adventure.
It is the trees I feel saddest about. The streets and gardens are littered with shredded leaves and dismembered limbs. There are fractures and raw wounds everywhere. Many tired old specimens have been uprooted completely. Storms in winter, though often fiercer, tend to cause less damage. The trees are bare and the sap has retreated. A brittle branch may be sacrificed, snapped off to save the whole, but the body survives and repairs. By May even the late trees are in full leaf, weighed down with primavera foliage. Winds like today's may be too much for them to withstand.
Tomorrow, as train timetables get back to normal and television channels are restored, we should pay our respects to the lost trees. We can all bend only so far.